We have obtained ground-based I, J and K band images of the spiral galaxy, Messier 74 (NGC 628). This galaxy has been shown to possess a circumnuclear ring of star formation from both near-infrared spectroscopy of CO absorption and sub-millimetre imaging of CO emission. Circumnuclear rings of star formation are believed to exist only as a result of a bar potential. In this paper we show evidence for a weak oval distortion in the centre of M 74. We use the results of Combes & Gerin (1985) to suggest that this weak oval potential is responsible for the circumnuclear ring of star formation observed in M 74.
- Galaxies: fundamental parameters
- Galaxies: individual: M 74
- Galaxies: spiral
- Galaxies: structure